This weekend belongs, unqestionably, to Black Panther. That being said, many people don’t recall (or maybe never knew) Wesley Snipes tried to bring the iconic comic book character to the big screen two decades ago. Things fell through and Snipes ended up bringing Blade to life instead in 1998.
Blade, of course, marks the beginning of films based on comic books (despite the fact that Snipes was apparently unaware Blade came from the world of comic books). The black vampire who did marshal arts (and wore a cool black leather coat like Shaft) stood alone as the Marvel Cinematic Universe exploded until this weekend when Black Panther has taken unapologetically and unequivicably taken over the box office. Fortunately, Black Panther is unlikely to be the opposite bookend from Blade but the start of something even more special.
Discover more about the fascinating Hollywood backstory behind two iconic superheroes of color in Episode #80: Wesley Snipes talks Blade and Black Panther from Slate Represent over on Panoply. It’s worth the listen just to hear Snipes “Rawrr” not to mention the hints he drops about upcoming possibilities….